The Snuff Tobacco Reference

Tobacconist Trade Signs

Common signs of the tobacconist varied by locale. In Great Britain, common signs of the general tobacconist included The Black Boy, or The Blackamoor, which was an African figure often in exotic and anatopistic costume whose association with tobacco was apparently for the slaves employed in tobacco cultivation, The Virginian, which was a Native American figure in folk costume who represented that land of extensive plantations from where tobacco was exported, and The Tobacco Roll, which as the name tells was a tobacco roll typically in the form of a coiled rope. Common signs of the specialist snuff man were The Highlander, which was a Scottish Highlands figure in folk costume typically with a snuff horn in hand, alledged to have initial political connotation but certainly for Scots popularly being considered profilgate snuff takers the figure was taken on commonly, and The Tobacco Rasp, which more accurately was a tobacco grater, these being used in the pre-industrial era to reduce tobacco matter in making snuff. In France, a common sign of the general tobacconist was La Carrote d’Or and is today the mandatory Carotte Rouge, both of which are tobacco carrots in a stylised color, these being gold and red respectively.


  1. The History of Signboards. Jacob Larwood; John Camden Hotten. Third Edition. 1866. Digitised version
  2. Wooden Bygones of Smoking and Snuff Taking. Edward Henry Pinto. Pages 18–19. 1962.